D is for David Harvey
(click thru for video)
(The above video is an amazing resource from a lecture given by professor David Harvey back in 2010 after the financial crisis of 08′ that highlights the inherent problems with capitalism. Also, it’s animated!)
As I have alluded to my past posts, I am very skeptical of Capitalism. I find that it is an economic (and now social) system that is built on a premise of consumption, supply and demand, and that the resources (both material goods and laborers) for this system are diminishing. The intrinsic contradictions of Capitalism have been highlighted by economists and social theorists for many years. Karl Marx is one of the loudest voices in this discussion (but certainly not the only one).
Professor David Harvey works at the City University of New York (CUNY) and has been giving lectures on Marx since the 1970’s. Harvey’s background is actually in geography, and he approached Marx with this mindset. He is, perhaps, one of the leading scholars on Marx today.
Harvey has written books on reading Marx, but he also has a series of lectures online that guide viewers through reading Marx’s “Das Kapital”. I began listening to these lectures recently, and I somehow found myself committed to a 500 page book for the summer… That should be interesting.
What Harvey does in the above video is an attempt to look beyond capitalism and seek out a new social order. He asks “Can we find a more responsible, just, and humane economic system?” and I believe we can. Whether you call yourself a “Democract” or a “Republican”, or take on the label of “Conservative” or “Liberal”, I believe that it’s important to listen to arguments like this. American politics work very hard to promote the aesthetic of freedom to citizens, but only within the constraints that it sets out. Any social change for the better (towards equality, moving away from racism, sexism and drastic wealth inequality) must begin by questioning the flaws of our current system.